Thursday, May 30, 2024

BOE Budget

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BOE Budget
Call to Action:

Speak Up For Our Schools at Monday’s BOE Meeting February 26th

By Liz Grambling

At tonight’s Board of Ed Finance Committee meeting, discussions of cuts to the proposed SPS (Stratford Public Schools) budget request were held. In the images below, you can see what cuts a 5.5% increase would mean and what cuts a 4.37% increase would mean.

The SPS staff has proposed a maintenance budget of $133,264,510, which represents a 6.69% increase over this year’s budget. The main drivers of this increase are the sunsetting of the ARP ESSER grant, increased special education needs and contractual obligations to certified and non-certified staff (wage increases and benefits). The proposed 6.69% increase does not add anything new to our schools; it maintains what we currently have.

As you can see, lower increases (5.5% and 4.37%) will mean staff cuts and supply cuts, damaging a district that is already named a state Alliance District.

Everyone is encouraged to show up at the Monday (2/26) Finance Committee meeting at 6 p.m. and the BOE regular meeting to follow at 7:15 p.m.

You can sign up to speak during the public forum section of the BOE meeting (3 min. limit) by emailing Teresa Lycoudes at lycoudest@stratk12.org before 4 p.m. on Monday 2/26 or, I am told, signing up in person before the meeting, probably by 6:45 p.m.

If you don’t want to speak, make a sign!

Currently the meetings are set for Central Office at East Broadway, but if they expect a crowd—and let’s make them expect a crowd—it’ll probably be moved to Stratford High.

This is a critical moment in the budget cycle for our schools and our Town. There will likely be more moments to show up for our schools this year, but this is very important.

If you can join us, please do. Bring your kids if you have to/want to!

To view the video of the meeting go to:

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ogbl#inbox/FMfcgzGxRndgjJNtkhSKTWBmvLdTKXGW?projector=1

4 COMMENTS

  1. Stratford is being dragged back in time to a one-room schoolhouse kind of existence. At the same time, the morale of our citizens, our property values and the future of ourr young people is being threatened. People need to show up tonight, Feb. 26, to defend our schools from the barbarism of the proposed cuts and our community from being debased.

  2. Schools and the Education of our Students are an investment not a cost. It is how we build our future and the future of our children. It is what keeps people off of Welfare and the criminal justice system. It is how we build a community. We need to be more efficient, upgrade our systems and apply best practices. Doing this is not like turning on a light switch, but rather turning up a dimmer. I believe the school leadership has been trying to turn the dimmer and create better outcomes. In this process we must not underfund our schools, take away reading and math tutors. Take away our librarians. There are tested approaches in hundreds of school laboratories in the USA as well as abroad. We need to be the students and learn, and then come back and intelligently and gently turn up the light.

  3. What’s going to happen to the homeowners taxes? It’s nice that every one of the items on the BOE wish list is covered, what about the citizens wish list, to be able to live in Stratford without an increase in taxes every year? How about the BOE living within last years budget. If the people question the constant increases, the same argument is used, librarians will be cut, students won’t learn, you won’t be able to attract qualified teachers. Every year the school system gets more money and how are we, the taxpayers to determine the measure of improvement in student outcome, based on the increased money? To add insult to injury our taxes had to pay two people in administrative positions to do nothing while they awaited a judgement on their conflict issues. We all have to live within a budget, which includes the taxes we pay for the town,the state, the federal government etc and no one says, I think we should control the expenses so that the citizens can live a debt free existence.

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